Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Further proof of the awesomeness of Paddy Ashdown

Allegra Stratton has an article in tomorrow's Guardian about Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron's chief of staff. She argues that, tempered by his time working for Paddy Ashdown in Bosnia, he had been the prime minister's rock over Libya.

One anecdote of his Bosnian days is telling:
For three years, almost Ashdown's entire tenure, he did the job he is doing for Cameron now, working cheek by jowl with the boss to help a country back to its feet. It was a high octane period and not just figuratively.

One story has Llewellyn in his office with colleagues and the viceroy of the Bosnian Raj – Ashdown – when they received intelligence that a truck loaded with explosives was driving towards the petrol station next door. All heads turned to look out the window at the roof of the petrol station.

As Llewellyn and others reached for their briefcases Ashdown roared that nobody was going anywhere. You don't leave the deck of your possibly sinking ship. The truck was diverted but the memories of impending death were not.
Yes, that is the spirit that won Yeovil from the Tories.


Dan Falchikov said...

Good post, but I'm not sure the Noble Lord B would approve of the use of 'awesomeness'

Jonathan Calder said...

I sometimes take advantage of the old boy's absence to use words like that.